My deep interest in International Development Policy and public service career stems from my desire to advocate for positive transformative change within my local community.  Similarly, to creatively devise practical and sustainable solutions to some of the social and economic challenges facing girls and women in Kenya. I envision myself being part of a network of ethical public servants, catalysts who drive positive systemic change in Africa’s public and non-profit sector.

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My desire to serve my community began after my experience visiting a small rural non-profit organization called Youth Changers Kenya early in my career. I interacted with young girls who shared their stories rooted in the harsh realities of life. I realized in this community that there were no practical solutions to address sexual abuse and gender-based violence issues, and the concerned institutions did not effectively implement some of the policies and legislation put in place.  These girls faced early teenage pregnancies, with most cases originating from sexual violence. There was a high rate of school dropouts, creating other socio-economic issues such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and delinquency among the youth. This rare opportunity ignited my passion for supporting teenage girls from poor economic backgrounds. To date, I provide mentorship, counseling, and life skill development to young girls living in Nairobi slums. These opportunities have enabled me to build the resilience and experience necessary to influence policies affecting girls in my country. It has also given me a solid foundation to understand the local context on how small community-based non-profit organizations operate best.

Upon graduation, my short-term goal is to continue working with more diverse NGOs supporting women and girls as a mentor and counselor, equipping them with life skills. Engage, learn, and co-operate with other like-minded leaders, both in the private and public sector, to develop and implement practical policies that prioritize girl child education and rights. I currently work for Segal Family Foundation (SFF), a grantmaker that supports African community-based organizations with funds and capacity building. My role at SFF is Regional Operations Associate managing all operations in our regional East and South of Africa offices. This opportunity has also enabled me to carry out programmatic work. I became the grants portfolio lead of two additional grantee partners in the last quarter of 2021. The first one is Buildher – a non-profit organization that provides accredited construction skills training and job placement to disadvantaged young women living in Nairobi’s slums. The second is Alfajiri Street Kids Art, an NGO that uses creative arts as a mobilizing tool to reach out and rehabilitate street children. My short-term goal is to mentor and provide counseling and life skills to at least 50 of these organizations’ beneficiaries in the next 6 months.

My long-term career goal is to become a cabinet secretary in the Kenyan government, representing women and youth affairs. This position will put me at the core of the matters and be the main driving force to initiate legislation through parliament and liaise with the private sectors to implement sustainable policies. As a woman who champions the empowerment of women’s rights, this role will open up different possibilities of formulating policies, conceiving ideas, soliciting funds, and tracking projects to their full lifecycle.

My academic background in commerce, Project Management, and Financial Management courses for development professionals has provided me with a solid foundation to think creatively and develop original approaches to solve society’s most pressing development problems. Being a fellow at the Obama Young African Leadership Initiative Fellowship Program has also helped me deeply understand Public Management.

Duke Sanford International Development Policy program fits in well with my career goals. It will offer me a platform to learn from seasoned public policy experts, gain first-hand practical skills on proper policymaking, and build mechanisms to handle the systems under the public sector. Duke curriculum creates new innovative thought-leaders who influence their community by solving some of the most significant global challenges.

I look forward to being part of Duke’s enriching multicultural community by connecting with various Campus Life Centers and Departments such as the Center for Sexual and Gender diversity and Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture.

Master of International Development Policy (MIDP)Statement of Purpose – In your personal statement, please describe 

  1.  why you are interested in this program;
  2.  how you expect the program to benefit you and your home country or region;
  3.  how aspects of your professional, academic, and personal experiences have shaped you; 
  4. and your professional goals upon graduation. Please limit the statement to one page.



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